James Quirke
Call: 1974
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Wills, Trusts & Probate Profile

James read Law at University College, Oxford and went on to serve pupillage in Lincoln’s Inn. He has practised in Birmingham since 1975.

James appeared throughout in White v Jones [1995] 2 AC 127, perhaps the most significant authority in professional negligence since Hedley-Byrne v Heller. This began as a contested Probate case in 1986 and ended in the House of Lords in 1995 as a solicitor's negligence case. He addressed their Lordships on the treatment of prospective beneficiaries under European, American and Commonwealth jurisdictions. For a full discussion of the conduct and implications of this case by Professor Sir Basil Markesinis of Oxford, UCL and University of Texas at Austin see “Five Days in the House of Lords: Some Comparative Reflections on White v. Jones”. 3 Torts Law Journal, (pp. 169-201) (1995).

James' principal area of practice is in Wills, Contentious Probate, Trusts and Inheritance including issues of Testamentary Capacity. He also advises upon the non-contentious aspects of the administration of estates and trusts and drafts as required.

  • Recent Experience

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      • James has recently completed the litigation in Khaira v Shergill [2012] EWCA Civ 983; [2012] W.T.L.R. 1795 which saw the successful resistance of the Trustees of Sikh Gurdwaras in the Midlands to the attempt by a sect abroad to control their assets. He is currently dealing with the distribution of partnership assets on the death of business partners and substantial claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

  • Reported Cases

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    • Cases of note in this area include:

      • Khaira v Shergill [2012] EWCA Civ 983; [2012] W.T.L.R. 1795 (Charitable Trusts and Jurisdiction)
      • Perrins v Holland [2010] EWCA Civ 870; [2011] Ch 270 (Testamentary capacity, Succession, Trusts, the rule in Parker v Felgate)
      • Harris v Williams-Wynne [2005] EWHC 151; [2006] 2 P. & C.R. 27 (CA); (acquiescence, proprietary estoppel and breach of building covenant)
      • Hyett v Stanley [2004] 1 FLR ((1) trusts of the proceeds of insurance policies and (2) constructive trust/proprietary estoppel)
      • White v Jones [1995 2 AC 127 H.L. (solicitors' liability to disappointed beneficiaries for negligence in the drafting of a Will)
      • Pearce v Lloyds TSB Bank plc, [2001] EWCA Civ 1907 (Banking and Restitution)
      • Trustee of the Property of F C Jones and Son v A B Jones [1996] 3 WLR 703 (C.A.) (Tracing by Trustee).

  • Specialist Areas

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  • Qualifications and Appointments

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      • B A (Oxon)
      • CTAPS

  • Professional Associations

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      • Professional Negligence Bar Association
      • Midland Chancery & Commercial Bar Association
      • Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists